‘Untitled’ (cnr Bertha & Juta Street, Johannesburg)
A mixed media exhibition by Johan Kritzinger
24 November 2005
one night show

This archive is the final component of the, ‘Untitled’ (cnr Bertha & Juta Street, Johannesburg) show. In opening, each work can broadly be defined as a personal exploration of a specific site within the city of Johannesburg, with each work titled to the actual street location and position within the city. In this way, the catalogue serves as a map or navigation tool with which to navigate my personal relationship to the city of Johannesburg, which is the place of my birth and origin.

The work within this show investigates the overly obsessive contextualization of the self and the mapping of a system of responses to places that for some reason held importance to me within the city. This importance was either related to an obscure fascination with a place or the constant encountering of a place along the routes of my everyday travels within Johannesburg. My conceptual approach was based on an initially empirical attitude that triggered intuitive responses to each place. For the most part, the responses functioned as an attack or a challenging of the ideas that these places have come to represent, whether physical or social in nature. One could say that I have developed a primarily skeptical view of existing structures and contexts. The only way for me to engage with these places resulted in the taking of ownership of the investigated sites. I hereby place myself in a position to deconstruct and reconstruct each site to my own ends, or to reconstruct it in such a way as to reveal flaws of its own making. The dichotomy of ‘outside and inside’, ‘self and other’ is imploded by the extension of self.

My choice of using mixed media for the execution of each work is the result of an innate need to avoid as much as possible the association of working within a specific medium. I was criticized by a fellow artist that my final execution was lacking skilled craftsmanship, of which I do agree. It is not in my current interest to master any specific medium or present myself as developing a specific visual language; I rather enjoy the freedom of being ‘a Jack of all trades’. I however was concerned with achieving a conceptual connectivity throughout the show that would guide the viewer through apparently disjointed locations.

In closing, this show was also intended as a form of farewell tribute to Johannesburg. This show marks a cessation of production about and around the city, and was one of the last public showings of my work prior to my departure from Johannesburg. It also thereby exists as a point of departure to the broadening of my artistic interests. A Cape Town-based artist recently asked me why Johannesburg-based artists tend to make art about Johannesburg. In conclusion it can be said that a one-night show is as much an opening as it is a closing, that one nightstand on the eve of a much-needed adventure.

- Detail view of spatial treatment - Installation view of spatial treatment - Rooftop view - Copyright of Johannesburg Development Agency - www.jda.co.za - Installation view - Detail view - Detail view - Series (1 of 6) - Series (2 of 6) - Series (3 of 6) - Series (4 of 6) - Series (5 of 6) - Series (6 of 6) - Installation view - Detail view - Detail view - Selected image from Urban Exploration of site (2004) - Installation View - Selected image from Urban Exploration of site (2003) - Selected image from Urban Exploration of site (2003) - Animation still - Animation still - Animation still - Visual study for Hillbrow Tower Project - Installation view - Detail view - Image taken from Top of Africa, 50th floor of the Carlton Center - Installation view of projected image with signed wall - Installation view - From sketchbook - Detail view without projected image - post-exhibition